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    Change of command for elite National Guard cyber group

    Change of command for elite National Guard cyber group

    Photo By Airman 1st Class Timothy Tweet | Airmen of the 252nd Cyberspace Operations Group gathered for a change of command...... read more read more

    CAMP MURRAY, WA, UNITED STATES

    11.05.2017

    Story by Capt. Hans Zeiger 

    194th Wing

    CAMP MURRAY, Wash.—Col. Charles Jeffries handed over command of an elite group of National Guard cyberspace and intelligence warriors to Col. Kenneth Borchers during a ceremony at the Pierce County Readiness Center here on November 4. Jeffries led the Washington Air National Guard’s 252nd Cyberspace Operations Group for the past half-decade, a critical period in the development of the military cyber operations field. Jeffries will move on to become vice commander of the 194th Wing, the parent organization of the 252nd Group. Borchers is an intelligence officer who previously served as the Group’s deputy commander and once commanded the 194th Intelligence Squadron.

    In remarks at the ceremony, Col. Gent Welsh, commander of the 194th Wing, called Jeffries the “Godfather of Cyber” for Washington State. “Where this Group is at now, its missions, its reputation, is directly linked to [Jeffries’s] work, vision and leadership,” said Welsh. Welsh presented the Legion of Merit to Jeffries in recognition of his pioneering leadership.

    Because of Jeffries’s leadership, said Welsh, the Group has become famous in the field of military cyberspace operations. “Nowhere in the entire U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard today will you find the exquisite blend of cyber and intelligence capabilities like you see in the 252 all under one roof,” said Welsh. “Whether it’s directly contributing to killing ISIS on the battlefield in Syria, providing communications support in Puerto Rico, hunting down folks in cyberspace, or developing national level policy to support cyber domestic operations, this Group is always at the forefront nationally and internationally, and has a tremendous well-earned reputation.”

    The 252nd Cyberspace Operations Group consists of nearly 500 Airmen in five squadrons specializing in cyber intelligence, defensive cyber operations, combat communications, and precision targeting. With regional proximity to the Pacific Northwest’s high-tech industrial centers, the 252nd Group includes among its Airmen part-time Guard members who work full-time for some of the world’s leading technology companies. In his civilian career, Jeffries works for Microsoft.

    Government agencies at the local, state, and federal levels have called on the 252nd to conduct vulnerability assessments. And through published papers, cyber experts from the 252nd have developed some of the protocols and terminology for the cyber security field.

    Because of its groundbreaking work, the 252nd Group has earned national attention from key defense leaders. Visitors to the 252nd in recent years have included former Secretary of Defense Ashton Carton, former Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, and former Director of the Air National Guard Lt. Gen. Stanley Clarke III. Other Department of Defense and Air Force officials, as well as members of Congress, have also visited.

    “The momentum is with you,” Jeffries told members of the 252nd as he concluded his command.

    In his remarks upon taking command, Borchers praised his predecessor and described the missions of his Group’s five squadrons. “We are unified by our oath to ‘support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic,’” he said.

    Borchers is “truly the right guy at the right time for the 252,” said Welsh.

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 11.05.2017
    Date Posted: 11.05.2017 21:12
    Story ID: 254199
    Location: CAMP MURRAY, WA, US 

    Web Views: 356
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